From the time that a young child picks up a crayon and makes marks on a paper to when an older child puts the finishing sentence on an autobiography or a poem, a young author is developing the skills that will be used for a lifetime. In this course, you will examine the developmental stages of writing, from scribbling to the standard spelling stage, so that you can foster your students’ skills and gently nudge them to grow as authors. This course is full of practical ideas that you can use to motivate students in your classroom.
You will look at tools such as the writer’s workshop, the six traits of writing, and genre studies for ways to teach students about writing. You will see how each of these tools can be used by teachers to encourage early elementary writers. As your students become better writers, they will become better readers, and you will see how well reading and writing instruction work together to support each other.
The course also covers ways to support the writers who struggle, whether due to a lack of motivation, fine motor skills, or ideas. And of course, you will explore techniques for getting parents involved so that they can help with writing at home. By the end of the course, you will have a new enthusiasm for teaching that will ignite your students’ love of writing.
Note: To receive 25 hours of instruction in the State of Oregon, please ensure your school is eligible to issue professional development units, and that the course is approved by your professional learning coordinator.
Growing Young Writers
What makes teaching writing so important for our K-3 students? Your first lesson introduces the relevance of writing instruction in early elementary school. You will learn some practical ways to grow writers in our classrooms and talk about providing role models and celebration and meeting students at their developmental and skill levels.
This lesson delves into the connections between oral language and writing. You will learn how varying literacy experiences at home affects young children’s work when they first enter elementary school. You will also examine strategies for helping students move from oral language to writing.
This lesson explores the developmental stages of writing, starting with the scribbling stage and moving on to the letter-like symbols stage. Then you will visit a kindergarten classroom and a resource room to get some great tips for working with these young writers.
This lesson focuses on the strings of letter stage and the beginning sounds stage. And as you did in the last lesson, you will visit a kindergarten class and resource room to see how our teachers work with students in these two stages.
When it comes to writing, our young risk-takers are ready to make bold choices when they put their pens to the paper. This lesson introduces two developmental stages: consonants represent words and initial, middle, and final sounds. You will also learn strategies help your students achieve success.
This lesson explores the final two stages of developmental writing: transitional and standard spelling. The standard spelling stage is our goal for all students, although they’ll always be works in progress as they move toward this goal.
There are many ways to hold successful writer’s workshops. And this will be the focus in this lesson: examining the writer’s workshop as a tool to meet your students’ diverse needs. You will also learn the three components of a successful writer’s workshop: the mini-lesson, writing time, and sharing time.
The Six Traits of Writing
What does great writing look like? There’s no easy answer to this question, of course. And that’s just what this lesson focuses on — defining and teaching great writing traits. You will learn the six traits of writing: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions.
Conferencing With Students
This lesson focuses on writing conferences. You will be introduced to the different conferences types and how to effectively conduct your own conferences with students at varying developmental levels. You will also learn about rubrics and how to use them to assess student writing.
How do you help students who struggle with some of the physical aspects of writing? In this lesson, you will learn how to navigate roadblocks such as trouble with fine motor skills, posture, and stamina. You will also explore specific tactics for reversing letter reversals.
Getting Into Genres
This lesson is all about genres: narrative, expository, procedural, persuasive, and transactional. You will learn how genre study motivates students and increases writing and reading comprehension skills. You will also examine the components of each genre and incorporate them into their classroom instruction.
Teamwork Gets It Write : Building the Home-School Connection
The final lesson focuses on working with parents to support their young writers at home. You will learn how to have productive conferences with parents about their children’s writing. You will also examine answers to some common (and often tough.) parent questions.
Prerequisites / Requirements
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
- This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac device.
- PC: Windows XP or later.
- Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
- Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
- Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
- Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
- Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
When can I get started?
Instructor-Led: A new session of each course begins each month. Please refer to the session start dates for scheduling.
Self-Paced: You can start this course at any time your schedule permits.
How does it work?
Instructor-Led: Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the 6 week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Self-Paced: You have three-month access to the course. After enrolling, you can learn and complete the course at your own pace, within the allotted access period.
How long do I have to complete each lesson?
Instructor-Led: The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
Self-Paced: There is no time limit to complete each lesson, other than completing all lessons before your three-month access.
What if I need an extension?
Instructor-Led: The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Self-Paced: Because this course is self-paced, no extensions will be granted after the start of your enrollment.